Some people who say they are psychics say their gifts come from God, but religious leaders say paranormal activities are an offense to them.
Christianity and clairvoyance are blended in a small room of the Wichita business where Anne Kennedy and other family psychics use what they say are spiritual gifts.
In that room -- where the psychics say they predict futures and commune with the dead -- there are several statues, figurines and paintings depicting Jesus, Mary, saints and angels. Even the business name is a reflection of divine intervention: "God Gifted Psychic."
While many people -- including religious leaders -- say such psychic activity is an offense to God, psychics such as Kennedy and others in her family say their gifts come through God, and they don't see a conflict.
"We work with God," said Crystal Marks, Kennedy's granddaughter-in-law, who said she is also psychic. "We don't put ourselves above him."
While it is difficult to determine how many people believe in the work of psychics, two national studies from the past three years offer some insight.
According to a 2005 Gallup Poll, about 75 percent of Americans hold some form of belief in paranormal activity, defined as one of the following: extrasensory perception, haunted houses, ghosts, mental telepathy, clairvoyance, astrology, communicating with the dead, witches, reincarnation and channeling.
And in 2006, the Baylor Institute for Studies of Religion found a "surprising level of paranormal belief and experience in the United States." In the study, nearly 13 percent of people polled agreed or strongly agreed that astrologers, palm readers, tarot card readers, fortune-tellers and psychics can foresee the future. Nearly 20 percent agreed or strongly agreed that it is possible to communicate with the dead.
But some churches and people of faith say such activity is dangerous and an offense to God.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church, for example, addresses the topic in a section on divination and magic:
"All forms of divination are to be rejected: recourse to Satan or demons, conjuring up the dead or other practices falsely supposed to 'unveil' the future," it says. Consulting things such as palm readings and the phenomena of clairvoyance "contradict the honor, respect, and loving fear that we owe to God alone," the Catechism says.
The Rev. John Lanzrath, director of the Catholic Diocese of Wichita's Spiritual Life Center, said that he sees such activity as a violation of the first of the Ten Commandments.
"We would find superstition a violation of the Lord saying, 'I am the Lord your God, you shall not have strange gods before me,' " he said.
The Rev. Mike O'Donnell, pastor of Grace Baptist Church, said he sees such activity as "dangerous," even for those who seek psychic advice as a form of entertainment.
"There obviously are people who are looking for spiritual answers," O'Donnell said. "Our advice would be that's not a good place to go. There's much more solid, foundational help in Scripture."
Kennedy -- one of at least five people in Wichita who say they are psychics -- said many people who come to her pray at home and are people of faith. Sometimes, though, they don't find the answers they're seeking through their prayer, nor through their spiritual leader.
"They pray to the statues, and they don't have anybody to answer their questions," she said. "Here, they have somebody to answer them."
People go to her seeking answers to relationship issues, money issues, or just seeking direction.
Kennedy and other psychic family members at her licensed business at 150 S. West Street say they have the gifts to provide those answers -- at a success rate as high as 98 percent.
"We can help them," Kennedy said. "We comfort them."
Kennedy said that people who seek her psychic abilities don't have to necessarily have a belief in her, but rather in God.
"I'm human," she said. "But believe in God, and then through God, we can lead them."
BY JOE RODRIGUEZ
The Wichita Eagle
And to this article I would like to remind our readers of the words from God through the Apostle Paul...not any "psychic". In 2 Timothy 4:2-4, God says, "Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths."